Virginia’s State Corporation Commission upholds the highest monthly minimum bill for shared solar customers in the country
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Today Virginia’s State Corporation Commission ruled that the monthly minimum bill for customers participating in Dominion’s Shared Solar Program will remain $55.10, more than eight times the basic customer charge that Virginians with solar on their own homes pay Dominion, and the highest such bill in the country.
In response to the announcement, Southern Environmental Law Center Associate Attorney Josephus Allmond released the following statement:
“It’s critical that all Virginians have access to clean energy, lower utility bills, and improved air quality. Making sure the price people pay their utility company is affordable is one way we make sure solar is an option for everyone, especially for voluntary programs like Shared Solar. The enabling legislation’s patrons intended to provide a lower-cost pathway to solar for Virginians of all income levels who were unable to put solar on their own roofs, but today’s decision by the SCC has effectively turned Shared Solar into a premium program for non-low-income participants. Despite this disappointing decision, we’ll keep fighting to deliver equitable, clean energy access to every corner of the Commonwealth.”
SELC’s petition, filed jointly with the Coalition for Community Solar Access and on behalf of Appalachian Voices, asked the commission to reconsider its decision to set the monthly minimum bill for customers participating in Dominion’s Shared Solar Program at $55.10. Instead, the petition requested that the SCC approve either CCSA’s proposal of $7.58 per month, or a proposal from commission staff of just $10.95 per month.
The petition also sought clarification on what charges low-income customers would need to pay Dominion aside from the monthly minimum bill, from which they are exempt. In today’s ruling, the SCC clarified that these customers are exempt from the entirety of the minimum bill, including non-bypassable charges.
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